KALAMAZOO, Mich. (PRWEB) February 13, 2020
“For The Birds,” the first in a new series of family programs that takes a unique approach to inclusivity, is being offered at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 22. The special event will include three unique performances, crafts, music, movement, live birds, storytelling, and a bird-themed quiet room for visitors with sensory needs. The program is free, but seating is limited. Advance tickets are available at kalamazoomuseum.org for three separate free performances.
Cheryl VanEngen and Kim Shaw, the author and illustrator of the book As You Grow, will be on hand during an 11 a.m. session with Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra education personnel, who will lead an interactive musical storybook presentation. While VanEngen reads, audience members will infuse the story with musical sounds and rhythms. Instruments and cuing assistance will be provided by the KSO. KSO staff will also be promoting their sensory-friendly concert/storybook program with a drawing for free concert tickets. The book As You Grow tells the story of a mother hummingbird, her babies, and their nest. It teaches the importance of humility, respect, and friendship. Copies of the book will be available for purchase, and the writer and illustrator will sign autographs.
At 12 p.m., staff from the Kalamazoo Nature Center will present their Birds of Prey program. See live birds and learn about their habitats and their characteristics. Uncle Kooky, also known as Aaron Wright, takes the stage at 1 p.m. with an energetic, interactive concert focused on birds and nature. He is a children’s singer-songwriter who has performed for more than 25 years. Come sing along, dance, and move. Uncle Kooky CDs will be available for purchase.
Brenda and Rich Keith from the Kalamazoo River Valley Bird Observatory (a Kalamazoo Nature Center program) will explain how they band birds, including tiny hummingbirds. Bird banding is used to understand breeding and migration patterns. Misty Klotz and Lindsey Kemmerling from the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary will share information about their special bird programs and facilities. Autism Therapies staff will be present to offer ideas for your museum visits as well as how to enjoy birds and nature for families with children on the spectrum. BNK Treasures will have medical information seat belt covers and window clings available for purchase. These items are designed to alert rescue workers to children, adults, and family members with special needs.
A sign language interpreter will be present for all three presentations. The book, As You Grow, will be available on a large screen, and tools such as noise-canceling headphones, fidgets, weighted lap covers, stretch bands, wiggle cushions, and hummingbird puppets will be available. A quiet room with bird toys, puppets, games, activities, and puzzles will be available during the program. Calming materials such as a spinner, therapy ball seats, and Hukki stools will be at activity stations. A wide variety of bird-related arts and crafts will be open to all visitors from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Families are invited to come enjoy this inclusive, interactive program and to offer suggestions to make this and future programs even more welcoming and accommodating.
The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and is governed by its Board of Trustees.
Media Contact Bill McElhone
Kalamazoo Valley Museum Director